Assembly of First Nations National Chief Bellegarde: 2019 Federal Budget provides sustained investments for continued momentum and progress for First Nations
Assembly of First Nations
Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde says the federal budget tabled today in Ottawa includes key sustained investments that continue to support success for First Nations children and First Nations governments.
"This federal budget shows important and sustained investments to advance First Nations priorities as a result of sustained advocacy by First Nations and the Assembly of First Nations, and that's good for First Nations and Canada," said Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde. "The investments in First Nations children through Jordan's Principle, funding for First Nations languages, safe drinking water, emergency services, land claims, economic development, and other areas will help close the gap between First Nations and the rest of Canada. They will build healthier First Nations, stronger governments and a stronger Canada. Now it's time to keep up the momentum to ensure we see results on the ground – in our nations, in our homes, and in our families."
The federal budget released includes 24 measures for Indigenous peoples, totaling approximately $4.7 billion aimed at a range of initiatives, including languages, post-secondary education, education, economic participation, emergency management, implementing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Calls to Action, water, health, and well-being. The budget also identifies commitments to loan forgiveness and reimbursement in the area of comprehensive claims and funding for research in specific claims. Specific commitments to support Jordan's Principle will supplement the Assembly of First Nations' ongoing advocacy efforts for adequate support for its implementation.
Investments over the last four budgets total more than $21 billion, which is four times what the Kelowna Accord committed to in 2006.
The Assembly of First Nations is conducting a full analysis on investments and will be made available in coming days.
The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing First Nations citizens in Canada. Follow the Assembly of First Nations on Twitter @AFN_Updates.